BASSO-RELIEVO (Ital. for "low relief"), the term applied to sculpture in which the design projects but slightly from the plane of the background. The relief may not project at all from the original surface of the material, as in the sunken reliefs of the Egyptians, and may be nearly flat, as in the Panathenaic procession of the Parthenon. In the early 19th century the term basso-relievo, or "low relief," came to be employed loosely for all forms of relief, the term mezzo-relievo having already dropped out of general use owing to the difficulty of accurate application.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)